Heaven lay curled in her bed, still shocked and shaking from everything she had witnessed. Her grandmother sat next to her and stroke her hair.
“Are you alright, dear?” She asked.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
Heaven shook her head. She didn’t know what to say. She didn’t even know why his death affected her so much. If they hadn’t killed him, he would have killed them. They did the right thing and she shouldn’t feel sad about it. She should be happy now that everyone was safe, including her.
As her grandmother stroke her hair, she noticed the mark on her neck. “What is this?” She asked.
Heaven hurried to sit up and covered her neck with her hair. “It’s nothing.” She said.
“No! Let me see.” Her grandmother reached for her hair and removed it from her neck. “Oh, dear.” She said looking shocked. “He bit you. Why didn’t you tell me?”
Heaven looked down at her hands. “It means nothing.”
“It does. That’s why you are sad. He…” She stopped when she noticed the tears in Heaven’s eyes. “Oh, come here. Don’t cry.” She said enveloped her in hug.
Heaven began to sob in her grandmother’s arms. She was still confused as to why she was sad. Did the mark effect her this much?
“It will get better with time. The mark will fade away and now that he is gone it will fade away quicker.” She explained, clapping her on the back gently.
How quick, because she was in pain? Was this how her grandmother felt when grandfather left her?
“I am sorry.” Heaven apologized.
“That grandfather made you go through this.” Now she hated her grandfather. How could he inflict so much pain on someone?
“It’s alright.” Her grandmother smiled.
Heaven drew back and wiped her tears, before looking at her grandmother.
“How is it alright? Don’t you hate him?”
“I don’t blame him. That’s how he is. I should have known better but now… I am just paying for my sins.”
Her grandmother sighed and looked down at her hands.
“You don’t have to tell me.” Heaven hurried to say.
“No. I think you should know everything.” She began. “I was married when I met your grandfather. Yes, my husband was not the most affectionate, but still I committed a crime against him. I was unfaithful. Your grandfather knows when our hearts and souls feel empty, and that’s when he comes. When you are at the lowest point of your life, he shows you the life you wished to live and the things you wished to have, and he presents them to you. He tempts you and I fell for it. I was lonely, and he made me feel loved and cherished. But meeting him was not a coincidence. Nothing is coincidence with the devil. He plans his every step, and I was part of his plan.
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He was looking for a powerful successor, therefore he needed to find a powerful mate. Demons don’t have many females, especially powerful ones, therefore I was the perfect choice for him. But my mother spoiled his plans when she put on a curse, and he realized that mixing demons and witches was much more complicated than he had planned. Both sides showed resistance, so he did nothing to break the curse. It served his purpose. His successor would stay protected until he grew up and learned his powers, and only then your grandfather would try to break the curse. All this time I thought he wasn’t breaking the curse because he cared for me, but I was wrong.”
Heaven could hear the pain of betrayal, the self-blame and the anger in her grandmother’s voice.
“Anyhow. I got my punishment by not being able to be with my son. Now I want to make things right and be happy, and nothing makes me happier than to be with you. As for your grandfather, he will also pay for his sins some day.”
Heaven gave her grandmother a tight hug before looking at her. “I think you should start anew. Find someone who truly cares.”
Her grandmother waved her hand dismissively. “No… I am fine. Right now I am enjoying the small things in life and I am content this way.”
“Very well, then. As long as you are happy.” Heaven smiled, but then she remembered something.
Zamiel had told her that her grandfather would come back and lure her when she was at the lowest point of her life. Just like her grandmother explained. He was looking for a successor. Did that mean he would come back for her like Zamiel had said?
“There is more I need to tell you. I have been trying to find the right moment and I am not sure if this is it, but you need to know soon. When you dissapeared, I thought it was you grandfather who took you. Even if it wasn’t him, it could have been him therefore I need to tell you now.”
Heaven was suddenly worried. Why did she think her grandfather had something to do with her dissaperaring? What was it that she needed to know?
“Your grandfather will come back. For you.” She said.
Oh. Zamiel was right. But how did he know?
“He wants me to lead his army.” Heaven breathed.
Her grandmother nodded. “Yes. He will try to convince you or rather manipulate you.”
“That won’t work. I don’t want to lead his corrupted army.”
“Don’t underestimate him. He knows what we desire and he will find your weak point and use it against you and you won’t even realize. Promise me that if he comes to meet you, you will tell me.” She said.
Her brave grandmother seemed truly worried, which made Heaven worry. “I will.”
Heaven dismissed the disturbing thought. She had other things to think of now.
“Grandma, can you take me to Zarin? I need to see if he is alright.”
Heaven felt suddenly guilty that she was sad for the man who had hurt her friend.
Her grandmother teleported them to uncle Roshan’s house and Heaven hurried to Zarin’s room. Gina and Princess Klara were tending to him. Heaven felt ashamed walking inside. They probably hated her since she was the reason he got hurt.
“Heaven!” Gina called and hurried to hug her. “Thank God you are alright.”
“Are you alright?” Heaven asked.
Gina backed away and twirled. “See, I am perfectly fine.” Then she leaned in and whispered into her ear. “Don’t blame yourself.”
How did she know?
Princess Klara stood up from her seat and came up to Heaven. “Are you alright?” She asked.
Heaven nodded. She felt like bursting into tears. Why was everyone nice to her when she put them in danger for selfish reasons?
“Yes. I am fine. Thank you. Is Zarin alright?”
“Yes. He is just resting. You can stay here if you want.” Said his mother.
Klara left, leaving her with Gina and Zarin. Heaven slowly went to Zarin’s bed where he lay with eyes closed. Her gaze traveled to his neck. He had healed, but scars were still visible. Suddenly she felt hatred toward the man who hurt her friend. She would not mourn his death.
Slowly she sat on the bed next to him. “I am sorry, Zarin.” She whispered.
He stirred in his sleep and opened his eyes. “Heaven!” He tried to get up as if she was still in danger when she gently put a hand on his shoulder to stop him.
“Don’t! You need to rest. I am alright.”
He leaned back into his pillow again.
“How are you feeling?” Heaven asked.
He touched his neck. “Good. Who was that man?”
“No one that matters. He is gone now, so there is nothing to worry about.” Saying those words pained her, but she dismissed her feelings quickly.
“What do you mean by gone?” He asked.
Zarin frowned, confused. ��He can’t be dead.” He said.
Something seemed to disturb him.
“Why not?” Heaven asked.
“You didn’t see his power. I could feel it. He could have crushed me easily without a fight.”
Heaven was confused. “I don’t understand.”
“I don’t think he intended to kill me. He was… holding back. He was…”
“Stop! Please. I don’t want to know.” She didn’t want to talk about him anymore.
He was gone, so there was no use in adding to her guilt.
Zarin gazed at her with concern. “Is everything alright?”
Heaven nodded. “Yes. I just don’t want to talk about him.”
“Did he hurt you?”
Well, he almost drained her of blood and bit her against her will. Then he had other plans for her. Kill her, it seemed, yet not. He was confusing.
She shook her head. “No.” There was no reason to make him worry.
Zarin suddenly turned his head as if listening to something. Heaven could hear distant voices in the room nearby. It was her father and Roshan. It seemed like they were talking about the stranger.
Heaven stood up from her seat and went to the wall. Gina followed, and both of them put their ear against the wall to listen. Eavesdropping was wrong, but Heaven couldn’t help it.
“We should be careful.” Roshan said.
“You don’t think he is dead?” Her father asked.
Wait! He could be alive? Heaven’s heart skipped a beat.
“It was too easy. He is a smoke demon, an ancient one. Killing him should almost be impossible. Something is wrong.”
“Why would he pretend to be dead?”
“I don’t know.” Roshan sighed. “But we should be careful until we are sure.”
Heaven started shaking. If he was alive, they were all doomed. He would not go easy on them this time. He would come back and hurt everyone she loves and cherishes.
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